If you visit my blog regularly you may have read about my excitement for the film Brown Girl Begins. I finally saw it on Saturday and then I had the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion after the screening!
I was joined by Quentin Vercetty an award winning afrofuturistic visual griot, art educator and founder of the Black Speculative Arts Movement in Canada. Ella Cooper award winning filmmaker, artist, educator, programmer and founder of Black Women Film Canada. And of course Sharon Lewis award winning writer, actor, show runner and director of this incredible film. The movie is rooted in Afrofuturism, something we’ve been hearing a lot more about especially since the release of Black Panther. We talked about Caribbean based Sci-fi and the importance of seeing different Black identities in this context.
Brown Girl Begins is a post-apocalyptic tale about a young black woman who is trapped in a world forced upon her. Ti-Jeanne, a reluctant priestess, must resurrect Caribbean spirits and survive the possession ritual that killed her mother or her people will die. The fantasy elements of Brown Girl Begins have their basis in Caribbean folklore, inspired by Nalo Hopkinson’s award winning novel, Brown Girl in the Ring.
There is something so special about seeing people on screen who look like me, who sound like me, who share the mannerisms of my family. I think I smiled through the entire film! Brown Girl Begins features electric performances from some of my faves including Mouna Traore, Emmanuel Kabongo, Measha Brueggergosman and even Caribbean treasure David Rudder!
I’m so incredibly proud of Sharon for sticking with this film for 15 years, pushing through all the no’s, to now have this film in theaters playing alongside movies like Black Panther. How major is that?!! Sharon may not realize it but a spark has been ignited by this film coming to fruition. She’s a real gutsy gyal!
I believe it’s important to support that kind of resiliency and commitment to culture. Please go and see this film. It is playing at Cineplex Cinemas at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto until March 8th. Tell your mom, your sister…tantie Merle…everybody. Just support. Get your tickets HERE.
Here are a few pictures from Saturday’s screening and talk back. Thanks for reading!
P.S I thought it was the perfect occasion to wear my “Yard” tank from Reppin’ Yard. Can you guess what island is on my shirt?
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